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Marine Rescue Trial Bay responds after wave knocks two people overboard on Macleay River Bar

A volunteer radio operator from Marine Rescue Trial Bay initiated a rapid response this morning after receiving a call from a member of the public at 9:35am yesterday that two people had been washed overboard from their five metre runabout on the Macleay River Bar.

Marine Rescue NSW Inspector Rodney Page said rescue vessel Trial Bay 30 and rescue watercrafts Trial Bay 11 and Trial Bay 12 were deployed to assist.

“Thankfully the two people were wearing lifejackets and a passing vessel pulled them out of the water with Marine Rescue NSW vessels Trial Bay 30, TB 11 and TB 12 arriving on scene not long after.

“It is vital all boaters wear lifejackets because if you don’t have one on it can’t save your life,” he said.

Marine Rescue Trial Bay Unit Commander Ian Turner was on board TB 30 and said the two anglers were shaken after the incident.

“They were returned to Matty’s Flat by the private vessel while Marine Rescue NSW volunteers on board Trial Bay 30 and the rescue watercrafts secured the stricken vessel.

“It was a navigational hazard at the mouth of the bar.

“Because of that, we pumped some water out of the disabled vessel before towing it back to Matty’s Flat,” he said.

Unit Commander Turner praised the member of the public who raised the alarm and the actions of the crew on board the passing private vessel.

“These things happen so quickly and this incident could have had a very different outcome if it wasn’t for those people reacting the way they did and the anglers wearing lifejackets,” he said.

Marine Rescue NSW is a volunteer based not-for-profit professional organisation dedicated to keeping boaters safe on the water and supporting local communities.